Thursday, December 5, 2013

Reviews.... and why they are important!

  I am sure, if you are an avid reader like me, that you have seen authors asking, begging, bribing you to leave a review.  Well, here I am, about to do the same thing.  Why do we do this, you may be asking yourself..... because reviews matter.  I won't go into why they are important for everyone else.... Instead, I will talk about why they are important to me!

1.  Reviews let me know what I am getting right, and what I may be getting wrong.  For instance, in the first book, I totally wrote the way I type.  Ya'll might have noticed that I don't type I'm I always write I am.... well, I wrote that way as well.  Which, as it turns out, makes the dialogue seem to formal...  I never would have realized I did this if it weren't for reviews.  So, yes, I do read the reviews.... and yes, they do matter.

2.  If it weren't for reviews of the first book saying that I needed to fix parts of the story to make it more amazing, I never would have gone back and revised it.  After reading several reviews talking about things that needed to be fixed, i.e. contractions, dialogue, etc....  I realized SHSR needed another look-see. 

3.  Reviews are encouraging.  Any and every time I get a new review, I get giddy.  While the bad ones can be a downer, the good ones are like taking a shot of straight adrenaline.  I literally do a happy dance around my house every single time a new person says they loved my book.  (My family thinks I am slowly losing it).

4.  Reviews help readers decide whether or not they would like the book.  I almost always read the reviews of books before I commit.  Now, don't get me wrong, I understand that certain books aren't for everyone... and not everyone will like the book... but reviews help me to know what I am getting into.  Especially if I know that the reviewer has similar tastes to my own.  So, help future readers out.... leave a review.

5.  Constructive Reviews.... okay, this is where this post may get a bit dicey, so bear with me.  There is a distinct difference between a constructive review and a cut throat nasty gram.  The difference:  You can leave a one star review and explain the things you found fault with in the book....  i.e. editing, story flow, etc.  These reviews are helpful.... these reviews help me, as a writer, to know where my weak points are and what I need to work on....    The other sort of review, the nasty gram sort, well.... you calling me names and saying that my dog could write better than me, while you have a right to say that, won't help me to be a better writer.  (No, this has not actually happened to me, but I do have a lot of fellow author friends that have gotten reviews of this nature).  So, if you are going to leave a negative review... which by all means, I encourage you to voice your honest opinion, make sure you are leaving one that actually pertains to the book and what you found fault with.

Alright, everyone still here?  Awesome.  I guess the whole point of this post is that reviews matter... both good and bad reviews....  So take five seconds the next time you finish a book, and leave a review.  Something as small as "It rocked my socks" may make an authors day!

Michelle Graves

Monday, December 2, 2013